A boost for medical imaging

November 6, 2013, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
A boost for medical imaging
A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics is developing a new medical X-ray imaging detector with improved sensitivity and signal processing performance. Credit: iStock/Thinkstock

The A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics and nanoX Imaging Ltd join forces to develop a new medical X-ray imaging detector.

In a move that promises to accelerate the development of a novel, highly sensitive X-ray imaging detector, the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has formed a collaborative partnership with the multinational start-up nanoX Imaging Ltd, a provider of solutions. The project is likely to offer improvements in current medical imaging technologies and the treatment of a number of serious human diseases.

The collaboration builds on the IME's successful development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices for a broad range of biomedical applications. Dim-Lee Kwong, executive director of the IME, praises the strategic partnership as being well-timed to benefit the growing global market for medical technology products.

The X-ray imaging system, first developed in the 1890s, is the most widely used method of examining the body's internal organs, tissues and bone structure that does not require invasive surgery. In recent years, dramatic advances have been made in the development of X-ray detectors, largely due to the rapid expansion of the semiconductor and thin-film industries. However, some abnormal tissues—such as cysts and tumors—remain difficult to detect with current technologies, unless examined using high levels of radiation, which can pose risks to the patient.

The IME–nanoX Imaging partnership aims to develop a high-performance and commercially viable MEMS-based X-ray imaging detector that employs field emission detection. Research will focus on enhancing detection sensitivity and improving digital signal processing performance, which could lead to earlier diagnoses that are made with greater accuracy and reduced exposure to radiation. "Image quality will continue to be the paramount criterion, and overcoming the current limitation will benefit all stakeholders in this industry," adds Kwong.

Key to the collaboration is the institute's experience and state-of-the-art facilities, which include advanced capabilities in silicon-based MEMS processes. "We sought a good 200-millimeter MEMS foundry over the world and finally came to the IME, recognizing its capabilities best fit our requirements as we planned for the transition from development to commercialization," says Hitoshi Masuya, CEO of nanoX Imaging.

Since its founding in 1991, the IME has developed pioneering technologies that span the fields of bioelectronics, integrated circuits design and photonics. By actively engaging the wider semiconductor community and identifying global trends in advanced manufacturing, the IME is able to support the growth of emerging applications from the concept, design and prototype phases to full commercialization. Thus, extending the use of MEMS technology to incorporate X-ray imaging detectors will reinforce the IME's expertise in developing innovative, cost-effective MEMS products and devices for real-world applications.

Through its partnership with the IME, nanoX Imaging joins an increasing number of biotechnology and nanotechnology companies that are establishing research ties and facilities within Singapore. Meanwhile, the IME continues to make a significant contribution to the country's growing reputation as a hub of MEMS research and development through a variety of cooperative activities. These include co-presenting the MEMS Forum with SEMI, a global industry association that supports advances in the micro- and nanoelectronics industries. Held in May 2013, the forum brought together academics and industry experts to discuss and propose strategies for successfully taking innovative MEMS-based technologies to market.

Explore further: Researchers team to develop point-of-need traumatic brain injury diagnostic device

Related Stories

Researchers team to develop point-of-need traumatic brain injury diagnostic device

November 28, 2012
A*STAR's Institute of Microelectronics and SFC Fluidics, a USA microfluidics-based biomedical device development company, will be collaborating to develop a portable diagnostic tool for rapid triaging of traumatic brain injury ...

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.